Sunday, January 28, 2007

Randomness at Madresa

So I'm home for Ashurah, and I have several humorous stories (at least for us girls there) to share with you all. Note: Ignore the grammar/spelling mistakes I was in a hurry :)

-One of my roommates Salma, decides to scare some girls in another room (let's call it room B). So she sends a friend of hers (I forgot to ask her if it's ok to put her name so I'll call her...Nadia) Soo Nadia goes outside to room B's window and knocks once and all the girls inside room B got freaked out. They were all wondering if they actually heard it and if it was a knock at the window. Salma's there too, pretending to be freaked out. Then she sent Nadia again. Beside the window is Asfa's bed; she was sitting on it, with Layla, Lazeena and Anisa (the latter 3, all Americans). When Nadia knocked on the window again this time loudly and repeatedly, they all look at the window, scream and jump the to opposite end of the room simultaneously and everyone else in the room screams. All this happens while Salma is laughing out loud being entertained. And this isn't where the story ends, nope. Asfa, Layla and the other girls threaten to scare back Salma...

-Now the girls who got scared the first time, i think it was 6 or 7 of them, thought of ideas to revenge. While Asfa, the psycho genius, came up with a plan right there and then that would out do Freddy cooger, the chain-saw massacre dude and all the other scary dude's any day. So after I finish the “room checks” at 11pm, I go back to my room where all of my roomies where deciding whether or not the other girls would seek revenge on Salma. Because if they did it would be around 12am. so we talked to each other from our beds until 12, when we thought they must have forgotten, and then we fell asleep. at 12:30am Zainab and Lazeena (2 of the girls in on the scare) come outside to the door to check if we're asleep. They let us sleep for another half hour, while they got prepared, actually I should say, while Asfa got ready for action. And while preparing, they all scared themselves (A chill just ran down my spine as I remembered how Asfa looked).

Ok so this was their plan, all the girls (6 of them) get dressed in black., while Asfa wears black head to toe (can't even see her eyes), but with a huge white shawl draping over her head and carrying a candle. So all you could see was the white shawl draping with no face or body to hold it. AND THAT LOOKED FREAKIN SCARY IN THE DARK!!!!!! They come into my room, and let me tell you how it looked from my perspective, and remember I was asleep. I hear sounds of chanting, black things coming in and something glowing white glides to the middle (this is where I think I'm still dreaming) They all stand in front of Salma's bed, she gets up (the first thing that comes to mind to a madresa girl, when she sees anyone in white at night, is a jinn) she starts stuttering,

"Ma' ma' ma' maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! (!X 10000000, and it was a high-pitch scream)

That's where I fully get up, gasp, hold my breath and pull my blanket to my chin. After she screamed she and everyone in my room (EXCEPT Naeema who did NOT hear a single thing, she didn’t even MOVE) realized it was them. Salma went back into her blanket and I was like, "what...huh...what's going on…(mumbled things that I don’t remember)?" then I fell asleep. The supervisor from the other end of the building heard the scream (and Naeema didn't!!!!!) she came running when the "scare crew" came out one by one. She thought they all went outside or something, and then she saw little miss Asfa (who by then took off the things from her face) and said,

"i heard someone scream?"
"Someone screamed?" The Mastermind innocently asks.

Well they told her what happened and even showed her how they did it, and our dear Supervisor agreed that it was indeed extremely frightening. It would cause any child to be scared of the dark and anything dressed in black for the rest of their life.

At fajr, I kept wondering if it all was a dream, but it wasn't. We have good laughs about that every time we remember...ok it just happened last week.

Oh yeah their original plan was to wrap someone in a white cloth and carry the body (the carriers in black) to Salma while chanting, "shaikh gupta (gufta?!)"

you gotta remember, the most popular talked about scary stories w(hen it comes to Madresa life) are about the Jinn.

- Another story, I wasn't at madresa for this one, but everyone described it to me pretty well. My roomies were all in bed getting ready to sleep. Salma, was listening to some anasheed on her mp3, Aamena was sleeping on my bed (since her bed was too close to the heater, and on top of her bunk Summaya J was already lying down) and on the top my bunk bed Naeema was cuddling in a soft spot against the wall. She usually sticks her hands down the side when falling asleep or just to annoy the person (usually me, but this time Aamena) sleeping at the bottom. The more she did that, the more her hand got stuck between the wall and the bunk. So in order to get out, she thought she could move the bunk bed by wiggling her legs, yes our Naeema is very clever indeed. The more she did that the more the mattress moved (instead of the bunk) from under her away from the wall and her self. at this point, Aamena decides to poke Naeema from the bottom bed through the bars, since half of her body was off the mattress and on the bars holding the mattress and her. So this is what it looked like:

Naeema's kicking her legs in the air and screaming because Aamena was guiltlessly poking her, Salma's listening to her loud mp3 since she thought they were all just messing about, and Summaya J tried to help Naeema but it wasn't working. Just then Anisa arrives to do bed checks and she sees all this happening, and she cracks up laughing at this hysterical scene. She then tries to help Naeema get free from torture while getting a good laugh.

- The supervisor has 3 daughters at with her at JAS. They're Arabs from Montreal, so they all have arabic-french accents. The youngest is our dear Salam. Salam is 12 (i think) and she is known for many good things like always waking up first for Fajr and waking up the rest of the girls (mashaAllah) and who's also very keen on seeking knowledge and becoming an Alima, InshaAllah. Well she's also known for her 5 famous lines.

"Serisly?" (seriously)
"Daaaaaamn Homie!!!"
"O Please"
"you're so eew man!"
"I joke I joke, I kid I kid"

Imagine all this said with an arabic-french accent.
It's cute, serisly.

She also has her own english dictionary. Asfa (remember...the psycho genius) asked her,
"Salam, what's hard drive?"
"What its mean like, like..uhh… it's hard to drive?!"

- Some of the girls who grew up in the "hood" or have friends from there, decided to teach me a thing or two. For example the different hand shakes...forget it, I won't even bother describing them lol I wouldn't be able to do justice to them. Maybe some other time...

-It snowed more in Bowmanville then in my hometown, most of the snow froze with the rain that fell on top. Sooooo on our way to the cafeteria Salma and I would run a little, and slide on all the smooth surfaces all the way to the caf and back. So if anyone ever drives by, and sees 2 niqabis sliding down the road as if they're on imaginary snowboards, you know who it is.

I actually have a big list of stories to share from madresa, but I think this is enough for now...

I guess, I'll share a poem that my roomies (who get really bored sometimes on the weekend...all the time I should say) wrote in Urdu. They wrote a whole lot of them, but for now I'll share one. Oh and just a note, urdu is not our (my roomies and I) mother-tongue, so this is pretty funny and interesting at the same time.

For some unknown reason, all of their poems are from a desi husband's perspective on his relationship with his wife…

Tere pyaar mein ro ro ke andha ho gaya
Tere baare mein bol bol kar gunga ho gaya
Tere baatein soon soon ke behra ho gaya
Tujhe maar maar kar lula ho gaya

-Naeema, Aamena, Salma and Summaya J

(I thank Allah I wasn't there that weekend)

Ok it’s not all fun and jokes there, I had to sit down with some of the girls in order to remember some of these stories. I’ve been saying so many sarf tables at madresa, that at home at random times and places like in the kitchen or car, I start saying “amr” tables and when I think I forgot a grammar rule I start saying things out loud. For example yesterday in the car, I randomly just said,
“mustathna, mustathna minhu”
And my sister (believeress) hears it and says, “Oh mustathna!!” (like it’s her childhood friend or something)
Then she thinks and says, “what’s that again?”
You would imagine me ranting on about it, but I went blank and thought to myself, “what’s mustathna??!?!” Then it came to me (alhamdulillah), and that’s when I started ranting out the rules until one of my family members’s (can’t remember who, I think it was my mum or all of them) told me to shut up.

Yeah so we’re having a nahw test on Tuesday on some of the Mansubat. Make du’a for me people, especially since our exams are coming up in March, I’m in great need of them!!!

Take care all!

Oh I just read the bottom post (posted by believeress), interesting...

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Not on the label

As Salaamu Alaikum

I came across an interesting article on bbc and thought I'd share it...though it made me kind of sick because I started imagining all the things that were supposedly "not on the label".

Not on the label

By: Justin Rowlatt

Ethical Man has discovered a whole range of food additives don’t even get listed on the ingredients.

I’m spending a month as vegan to see how cutting animal products out of my diet will affect my environmental footprint. It is surpisingly difficult to avoid animals; you'd be amazed how many foods contain animal products in some form or other.

There was a huge response when I wrote about my concerns that an amino acid used as an additive in bread is sometimes manufactured from human hair. I was reassured to discover that it is possible to avoid the substance – called L-Cysteine or E920 – because it is listed on the ingredients.

Then last week Britain’s leading organic baker, Andrew Whitely, wrote to me to warn of what he calls of “baking’s big secret” – the use of enzymes.

Andrew describes the use of these enzymes as secret because they do not appear on the label. Industrial bakers use a loophole to classify them as “processing aids”. The problem for a vegan like me – or for that matter for Jews, Muslims and vegetarians – is that some of these enzymes are manufactured from animals, including pigs.

click here to read the rest

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Beauty of the Beard

I read this poem ages ago when I was still in high school. I just came across it again today, and thought I should put it up.

Next week inshaAllah when I come home again, I’ll post some things going on with me at Madresa. That should be interesting I think…

An Acehnesse prays in the great mosque of Baiturrahman in Banda Aceh, Indonesia.
(AP Binsar Bakkara)

Beauty of the Beard

by Br Tushar Imdad-ul-Haque Bhuiya

Context of poem

I came to eat dinner in my halls of residence one day last year when two sisters started laughing at me; I had some food stuck in my beard. They went on to innocently and honestly mock my beard saying it was messy, unnatural and unhygienic. Little did they know the rage that I felt as a result of this and I channeled this rage by unleashing my anger through my pen and out came this poem.

I performed this poem in the Leicester University/DMU Islamic Societies and Eid Celebration and it was received with much laughter and acclaim - Alhamdulillah. Due to popular demand and many requests I have decided to type my poem up and email it to my friends in Islam. Let me remind you all not to be offended as this is no fatwa or religious statement - just a funny poem that spontaneously was produced as a result of my unfortunate experience...

Tushar (12th March 2001)

"Glorified be He who beautifies women with long locks of hair

And Men with long beards

There is beauty in the beard

Aye, there is beauty in the beard!

When the lion roars all the animals submit
For the lion is the king of the jungle

The lion with its glorious mane

And a Muslim man grows his mane in pride

Showing the rest of humanity that he is to be respected

Can one imagine a lion without its mane?

Nay, thou canst not!

Then imagine a man without his beard

Woe to worldly women who mock the beards so!

Desiring husbands with clean shaven faces

Woe to women who mock the Prophets Sunnah

In the name of hygiene, neatness and smooth texture

Indeed the women of this world cannot like the beard

But she who wants Paradise adores the beard!

A beard is a gift given to man

Something only he can grow; a woman never can!
When he ponders, he gently strokes it;
When he eats, it stores food;

When he is with kids, they play with it adoringly;

When he is with his wife, she fondles it lovingly;

When the enemy see it, fear is struck in their hearts!

Ah! there is indeed beauty in the beard!

All the Prophets had beards - yes they did!

Muhammad had a beard - so big! so big!

All the companions had beards - o yes! o yes!

All the sages had beards - I know! I know!

All the wise have beards - tis true! tis true!

All the pious have beards - you see! you see!
All the Muslims have beards!? - if only! if only!

Who did not have beards? The kafirun!

Who had clean shaven faces? The kafirun!

Who grew their moustaches? The kafirun!

"And what did our Prophet order?" I here you ask
He ordered us to lengthen the beard and trim the moustache!

Lengthen the beard and trim the moustache!
What greater reason that this can there be

The fact that our Prophet told us to see
That we make ourselves appear to the world

As full bearded men with honour untold

O Muslim brother! Why do you desire to look like a woman

When your blessed facial hair is the differece between you and the opposite gender?

O poor Muslim brother! Why do you imitate the kafir

Instead of following the Prophet of Islam?

O silly Muslim sister! Why are you so blind?

Infatuated with Bollywood actors who have no mind!

O wretched sister! Are you not scared of your choice?

You would rather have a feminine monkey instead of an exalted manly ape!

So indeed I love my beard
And adore the curls and tangles

Which no oil, gel or superglue can ever straighten
My glorious long, curly, messy, fluffy beard!

The playhouse for kids;

The envy of Malaysian people

And the beloved of Allah!

maybe rejected by worldly women because of this hair on my face
But who care! For my Mum loves it and she puts all such sisters to disgrace!

Be patient Muslim brothers, who shun the trendy look for a Prophetic pose

Paradise with the wide eyed Houris is our final abode!!!!!"

Taken from here.


Narrated Nafi' (Radhiallaahu Án) "Ibn Umar (Radhiallaahu Án) said, The Prophet said, "Do the opposite of what the pagans do. Keep the beards and cut the moustaches short." [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 72, Hadith # 780]

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Roadmap to Paradise

Roadmap to Paradise

Author Unknown

Take Adam and Eve avenue until you come to the intersection of Habil (Abel) road, and Qabil (Cain) street; merge right on Habil (Abel) and continue for the next twenty miles till you come to Noah's Ferry.

Take the ferry to Safety Land, ignore the majority of other travel agencies’ directions, and arrive at Abraham's Super Highway also known as High way One God Only (1).

Follow Abraham but avoid the exit of Sodom and Gomorrah townships until you get to Moses lane but pass Gold and Greed bridges and take it to Jesus' Mercy road. Here you will encounter a lot of confusion, streets are not well marked, and many peddlers along the road are giving away maps with conflicting directions to travelers. The Romans have renamed Pagans’ path as Jesus' mercy road.

If you are not sure about the authenticity of Jesus' mercy road, review your map. See if Jesus' mercy path is a continuation of Abraham’s Super Highway. If it is a continuation you are fine, but still proceed with caution. If you have diverged, make a U-turn and go back to Abraham’s high way (1) and re-try again.

Continue on True Jesus' road, if you do not see the following signs along the path, you should stop and review your map again. Maps for this path have been tampered with, we recommend the Barnabas edition street map to get to the Unity of God congregation, Immaculate conception corner, and Love thy neighbor community center.

Avoid to show the Roman Traffic police your Barnabas street map, it is banned, they will confiscate it and you will be forced to use the only authorized official map - the Paul street map which was drawn to direct the motorists to Rome. For that reason there is a lot of lost traffic on this road. On the other hand True Jesus road is found on the Barnabas street map, but only few people have access to this map.

Keep on Jesus' Mercy road until you find Muhammad’s (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) Sunnah Expressway. Stay on this expressway and do not be lured to rest areas along the expressway. Beware of the highway robbers, by insuring your vehicle with Dhikr security systems. All vehicles secured with Dhikr Security Systems will be protected from assaults by robbers (Satan).

Make sure that you have enough fuel. The highest grade fuel for this long and tiring trip is the Taqwa grade fuel. Make sure you demand this brand when you stop for refueling. Lighten the load on your vehicle, carry only the most important items for this trip: two meters of white cloth, good deeds and prayers of your kids is all you need. Excess weight is allowed only if it is more of the above. Other items will only slow you down or cause you to loose sight of where you are heading, and you risk losing the coverage of Dhikr Security systems, thereby becoming an easy target for the Robbers.

You need to check your vehicles safety features periodically by reading your vehicles manual - the Holy Quran. Your steering wheel must be calibrated by the Sunnah Calibration method, batteries must be charged with Iman, the engine needs to be tuned up with Ikhlas and your tires must be properly inflated with Ihsan. Most important of all, you must test the entire vehicle with the tawheed check list.

It does not matter if most parts of your vehicle are performing right, if a single part in your vehicle does not perform according to specifications of Tawheed (its conditions) your vehicle will break down and again the robbers will rob you of what is left. The overall performance of your vehicle depends on the performance of the weakest part in your vehicle, so routinely check these weak points, they may be detrimental to your trip.

There are many milestones on Muhammad’s road, and these milestones will assure you that you are on the right track. Do not worry that there are not any people on this road; just because you are alone on this road do not think that you are driving the wrong way on a one way street. Loving Allah more than anything else, loving the Prophet Muhammad sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam and his companions, who supported him when he was oppressed, following all his teachings, responding with patience and acceptance to lack of worldly goods, hunger, loss of family members are but some of the milestones and glad tidings that you are on the right track.

Also this road will be paved with pain, hard work, struggle with yourself and others and Iblis, the Robber, and all things that are not appealing to the soul. Never lay your guard, this trip is not over until it is over. Keep dhikr your guard, good deeds your luggage and do not lose to focus on where you are going, so you may endure the pain of this trip. When you finally arrive to your destination, Al-Jannah, you will forget all the pain.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Eid ul-Adha Pics

Ok so here are the pics from the farm on Eid. Both from Saturday and Sunday. I had a lot of fun, but it was quite stressful at the same time. I'm just glad to be home, and well tomorrow I'll be back at JAS inshaAllah.

This is Dodger, our guard dog ( a half German Sheppard and half Labrador). Oh did I update on Tiger, our previous dog, a bloodhound? Well he got sold because he didn't do a good job at being a guard, he thought everyone was a friend and family, he was a good dog...

Anyways my dad bought Dodger this summer and this little doggy takes his job seriously, and I mean seriously. He barked his vocals out this Eid (by Monday night he was making squeaky noises). He barked at every car that came in, and every person (excluding my family) that came near the house. Alhamdulillah he was chained so it wasn't that bad. He just got a lot of BBQ , cookies, cake and a whole lot of desi food, lucky him.

Ok this little dude here, the one in the middle was staring at me after I took the pic. So I "baa"ed at him and he baa'd back. I did it again, he does it too. It went on for like a min. until all the sheep and goats stop what they were doing and started staring at me. Yeah, that's where it's got really creepy...I realized then I needed food, since I hadn't eaten all day.

Ok this BBQ was on Sunday, and it was awesome! Seriously, there was a huge line outside the kitchen where the BBQ was, inside the ladies were making Biryani, and the kids were watching movies, playing games and having "marker fights" (I just saw kids with colourful marks on their faces and clothes). Sunday was mad crazy and fun all at once. Saturday was stressful with my mum getting injured and everything falling apart afterwards with some inpatient people...but Alhamdulillah, she's okay and doing well.

My mum's kabobs, mmmm I can still taste them.

My sister took these pics from a room on the top level of the house.

In the big living room, all we did was burn logs and paper in the fireplace since the heating in the house got busted. It was fun though, especially when we roasted marshmallows (halal ones) on sticks.

Well take care all and remember me in your du'as :)